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Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is expected to testify before Congress for the first time ever on the week of Dec. 6 — after a series of damning allegations were leveled against the company by whistleblowers in recent months.
Mosseri’s appearance will come more than two months after an executive at Instagram’s parent company, Meta — which also owns Facebook — testified before lawmakers in the wake of bombshell leaks showing that the company’s own internal research found its apps are harmful, especially for young people.
“After bombshell reports about Instagram’s toxic impacts, we want to hear straight from the company’s leadership why it uses powerful algorithms that push poisonous content to children driving them down rabbit holes to dark places, and what it will do to make its platform safer,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), chair of the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, said in a statement.
“I appreciate Mr. Mosseri voluntarily coming to the Subcommittee and hope that he will support specific legislative reforms and solutions, particularly in its immensely potent algorithms.”
Mosserri announced over Instagram that he’ll be appearing, emphasizing all the steps Instagram has taken to protect kids on the app.
“There’s an important discussion happening right now about keeping young people safe online,” he said in the video’s caption.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about how Instagram shows up, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of the work we’re doing in the weeks ahead.”
The news comes after former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked thousands of pages of documents to Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and news outlets.
Many of the redacted pages of internal company research are still trickling out to the media, but the findings so far how emphasized Meta’s failures to crackdown on hate speech globally, the proliferation of harmful content like that which encourages eating disorders and the company’s targeting of young kids as users.
Last week, a bipartisan group of state attorneys general announced an investigation into Instagram over the photo-sharing app’s effect on young people.
The attorneys general of New York, Florida, California and several other states they’re investigating “the techniques utilized by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of engagement by young users and the resulting harms caused by such extended engagement.”
In an effort to shrug off the controversy, Facebook last month changed its corporate name to Meta.